LOOKING at photographs showing her daughter at various ages, Elaine paid a touching tribute as she reflected on a life taken too soon.

She said her favourite photograph is of Sian aged eight wearing a black dress, that belonged to Elaine, and pearls while getting ready for a fancy dress party as a flapper girl from the roaring 20s.

The pictures are a stark reminder that the 22-year-old will never be able to have the experience of being a mum herself, something she longed for.

“She loved kids and would’ve loved to have had kids of her own,” said Elaine.

“Some of her friends have children. She would have been an excellent mum.

“She was a very much go-with-the-flow person and had a very happy nature. She lived for the day. I can’t really think of any times when she was short-tempered.”

Elaine, 48, said she had been to visit Suju and seen the hundreds of flowers and messages that had been left by people from Swindon and across the country. Elaine lit her own candle and the family laid flowers.

“I wanted to see the candles – that was the nicest bit for me. Sian’s little brother Aiden has got his own candle and they have made it so it stands out from the rest,” she said.

“When we went into the shop to buy the card and flowers we saw the front pages of all the papers on the bottom shelf and started to cry.

“The woman in the shop realised who we were and told us not worry about paying for them.

“I would say that was probably the hardest moment so far – writing on the card. What do you say?”

However, she has not yet been able to face visiting the spot where her beautiful daughter’s body was recovered by police last week.

“I haven’t been to Uffington. I feel that is something I will want to do in my own time.

“I don’t want to be around there at the moment. I don’t know when it will be but I might just wake up and want to go.”

Elaine remembered with fondness those times when Sian spent time with her and her other children.

“I can remember when Aiden stayed over with her a few weeks ago.

“Sian brought him home on the Sunday and said she enjoyed it because it gave her an excuse to eat junk food.

“I will always remember her being happy and upbeat.”

Speaking of Sian’s relationship with boyfriend Kevin Reape, she said they made the perfect couple.

“They had a lovely relationship – they were very together but had their own space. Not like some young couples always up and down.

“I actually could not understand what took them so long to move in together. It was about three years before they decided to move in together in January.

“They said they were going to talk about it in the summer and then while they were on holiday last September.”

The mother-of-four said the family had been supporting one another throughout their nightmare.

“Everybody has been together and really grown up about it. We’ve helped each other through and the family are being very strong. We are coping.

“My partner, Pete, has been amazing and has taken a lot of things off my plate. Lora has got her friends at UWE (University of West of England) and her boyfriend, who has been her rock.”

The family are hoping to arrange a funeral service for Sian around mid-April, but are yet to decide on a venue.